Report: D’Angelo Russell to Lakers a Smokescreen

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Adrian Wojnarowski on Fox Sports 1 said that his sources tell him that the Lakers’ interest in D’Angelo Russell is a smokescreen to try to pressure the Kings to make the DeMarcus Cousins trade today. Wojnarowski went on to say that the Sixers are locked in at D’Angelo Russell with the 3rd pick.

You can watch the video of the Wojnarowski interview here.

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Report: Celtics Putting Together a Huge Offer for No. 3 Pick

Apr 6, 2015 Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket against Wisconsin on April 6, 2015 during the NCAA Men's Division I Championship game. | Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 6, 2015 Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket against Wisconsin on April 6, 2015 during the NCAA Men’s Division I Championship game.

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

The possibility of the Lakers selecting D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick (assuming they don’t trade the pick for DeMarcus Cousins) continues to pick up steam, with Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops and Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report claiming that the Lakers now prefer Russell. Read more »

Reports: Sixers Targeting Rashad Vaughn; Is Trading Down a Possibility?

UNLV Rebels guard Rashad Vaughn attempts a free throw in second half against the Colorado State Rams at Moby Arena on Feb. 7, 2015.

UNLV Rebels guard Rashad Vaughn attempts a free throw in second half against the Colorado State Rams at Moby Arena on Feb. 7, 2015.

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

As we wake up on the morning of the draft, a number of rumors are circulating around the league which could throw the draft into chaos.

• The biggest news of the day is that the Lakers and Kings have exchanged the framework of a possible deal that would send DeMarcus Cousins to Los Angeles, with the Lakers sending back the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, former 2014 draft picks Julius Randle (7th overall pick last year) and Jordan Clarkson (46th overall), and other assets.

This trade would have major implications for the Sixers. Besides potentially changing who could be selected just ahead of them in the draft at No. 2 overall, it also could impact where the Lakers pick falls in next year’s draft. The Sixers have the Lakers’ top-3 protected pick. Read more »

2015 NBA Draft Big Board: The 10 Best Prospects for the Sixers

From left: Emanuel Mudiay, Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns (all USA Today Sports) and Kristaps Porzingis (Twitter)

From left: Emmanuel Mudiay, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns (all USA Today Sports) and Kristaps Porzingis (Twitter)

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

We’re now only 24 hours away from the 2015 NBA Draft, and the question today is simple: What would I do?

Here is my ranking of the top 10 prospects in the NBA Draft, specifically as they relate to how I would prioritize them if I were running the Sixers.

I’m going to break them down into tiers, with the basic premise that players in the same tier are roughly equivalent. Fit and team need may then have an impact on players within the same tier, but almost never moves a player up or down into a different tier.

Click on a player’s name to view a more detailed write-up. Read more »

It’s Time to Get Excited About Maikel Franco, Phillies Fans

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco watches his three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of an inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2015.

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco watches his three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of an inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2015.

Move over, Fishtown! The New York Times is excited about something else in Philadelphia. Okay, so this isn’t the NYT hunting out a neighborhood in Philly and writing things about it that are possibly hilarious to locals. This is even weirder: The paper is waxing poetic about a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yes, Phillies fans, even the Times has noticed: Maikel Franco is tearing it up. The story opens with a few paragraphs of praise then quotes Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “The way he swung the bat, the defensive play that he made, the arm strength that he showed — obviously he’s a very talented kid. And to be thrust into a major league lineup hitting third at such a young age is extremely impressive.”  Read more »

Harvey Pollack, Philly Hoops Legend, Dead at 93

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Harvey Pollack, the jovial statistician who had worked for a pro basketball team in Philadelphia since the NBA’s inception, has died. He was 93.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the passing of a true NBA legend, Harvey Pollack,” 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement. “He may never have laced up his sneakers, but few have done more to advance the game, in the NBA or Philadelphia basketball, than Harvey. He did what he loved until the end, and shared that love of statistics and basketball with his family, who we remember at this difficult time.” Pollack had been seriously injured in a car crash early this year.

Pollack is probably best known for writing “100” on the piece of paper held by Wilt Chamberlain in the famous photo after his 100-point game. Amazingly, Pollack was also the Inquirer, AP and UPI correspondent for that game.

“I went to a reporter, ripped off a sheet of paper, wrote 100 on it, had the picture taken,” Pollack said in 2012. “Went outside, went to the phone, called the AP and UPI, had my son read the box scores, then I went to press table and wrote a completely new story for the Inquirer.” Read more »

Report: Sixers Locked In on D’Angelo Russell?

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

The Sixers have long been linked to D’Angelo Russell, a dynamic point guard out of Ohio State. The link has mostly been a result of the general consensus about Russell’s ability as a player along with speculation about the Sixers team needs, as few reports have come out to confirm which way the Sixers front office may be leaning.

The strongest confirmation of that preference may have come from Ken Berger of CBS Sports yesterday afternoon in what was mostly a throwaway comment toward the bottom of a report about a possible DeMarcus Cousins trade. Read more »

Aw! Eagle Zach Ertz Is Dating U.S. World Cup Soccer Star Julie Johnston

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Julie Johnston is a burgeoning star on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, currently competing (and winning) in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Zach Ertz is an on-the-rise tight end for the Eagles, working hard to become the team’s most reliable pass catcher come the fall.

Zach went to Stanford, Julie to University of Santa Clara. The two met at a Stanford University baseball game a few years back, and now they’re dating, according to Ertz’s personal blog. Julie, at the time, was training for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, signifying to Zach that she was talented. Read more »

Rumor Mill: Sixers Reportedly in Discussions to Acquire Another First-Round Pick

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Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

With just over 2 days until the draft, the rumor mill is starting to pick up steam.

• Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports that the 76ers and Blazers have discussed a deal where the Sixers would trade two second round picks (35th and 37th overall) for the 23rd pick in the draft. Read more »

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